Saturday Secrets to Great Baseball Coaching – Definition of Fun

I’m sorry, but I cringe every time I hear a parent or coach tell kids to, “Just have fun,” when playing baseball. The reason I cringe is then I proceed to watch as those same adults zap the fun out of the game by overloading youth with information and expectations.

Many adults mistakenly think fun involves either becoming friends to players, making things so non-competitive by telling them it’s OK no matter what they do on the field or success. That may be true for a some kids, especially the success part. Additionally, it is obviously a better scenario than the opposite, adults, who demand too much for the level played or have a win at all cost attitude.

However, fun for athletes involves more than just meeting other’s expectations and winning. There is a middle ground that adults should try to meet and that begins with an understanding of what fun means for most kids.

Fun for kids is:

1.      Opportunity

2.      Challenge

3.      Improvement (Some sort of success no matter how small)

4.      Recognition of importance to team

5.      Recognition of effort (not false praise)

6.      Socialization with team

7.      Caring adults

8.      Name recognition – feeling of a real person


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